Lecture spotlight: ‘Using Data for Public Good’; ‘Russian Expansion on the Brink’

“Data Action: Using Data for a Public Good,” by Sarah Williams, associate professor of Technology and Urban Planning at Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1 p.m. Feb. 5, online

The Sara Fine Institute at the School of Computing and Information will host Williams, who will explain how we can use data as a tool for empowerment rather than oppression, something Williams calls “Data Action,” which is also the title of her recent book. “Data Action” seeks to provide guidance for using data toward the benefit of society, learning from the ways we have used data unethically in the past and illustrating ways we can use it more ethically and creatively in the future. Register here. A Zoom link and login information will be emailed once you register.

From noon to 1 p.m. Feb. 11, the Sara Fine Institute and the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center will have a virtual informal discussion about practicing “data action” at the University of Pittsburgh. Those who attend Williams' Feb. 5 talk will be sent a brief survey about areas to discuss further in this session. Register for the Feb. 11 discussion here.


“Transnational Dialogues in Afrolatinidad: Gender, Identity and Health”
1-2:30 p.m. Feb. 5, online

This second installment of the webinar series “Transnational Dialogues in Afrolatinidad” focuses on gender, race, identity and health, particularly involving the experiences of Afro-Brazilians, Afro-Argentines, and U.S.-based Afro-Latinxs. Scholars working at the intersections of Africana, Latinx, Latin American and gender studies will explore the ways that these issues overlap and impact Afro-Latin Americans and their diasporic communities in the U.S. Register here for the webinar.


“Conquering Nature: Russian Expansion to the Brink,” with Sharyl Corrado (Pepperdine University) and Paul Josephson (Colby College)
Noon-1:30 p.m. Feb. 10

Imperial expansion is as much about conquering nature as it is about subjugating people. The Russian state’s expansion to the edges of the Eurasian continent exemplifies the challenge of turning frozen and inhospitable land into livable space or converting lush landscapes into profit and prosperity. This live interview with Corrado and Josephson will explore the relationship between Russian imperial expansion and nature, and how environment was imagined and shaped in the process. Register for the Zoom meeting here.